Plastics company LyondellBasell has announced plans to drive chemical recycling of plastic materials forward.

The company, which specialises in plastics, chemicals and refining, is working with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to advance the chemical recycling of plastic materials and assist global efforts towards the circular economy and plastic waste recycling.

The focus of the venture is to develop a new catalyst and process technology to decompose post-consumer plastic waste, such as packaging into monomers for reuse in polymerisation processes.

“Earlier this year we announced a 50 per cent share in Quality Circular Polymers (QCP) to drive the development of high quality recycled polyolefins from the mechanical recycling of sorted post-consumer waste streams,“ CEO Bob Patel said.

“This new co-operation will be a major step towards chemical recycling and extend our contribution to the circular economy.”

Chemical recycling is complementary to mechanical recycling and is able to manage multilayer and hybrid plastic materials, which can’t be easily recovered by mechanical recycling.

Molecular recycling is advancing chemical recycling by improving current process technologies to produce clean feedstock for polymer production.

LyondellBasell's goal is to develop a high-efficiency and clean plastic depolymerisation process through catalyst innovation to transform plastic waste back to the chemical building blocks.

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